Russia's Medvedev plans 'systematically' attacks on Caucasus fighters
Russian President Medvedev resolved to wipe out fighters across Russia's Muslim-dominated Caucasus.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev resolved on Friday to wipe out what he calls "bandits" across Russia's Muslim-dominated Caucasus after a suicide bomb killed seven policemen in the Dagestan region earlier this week.
One of the most populous regions in the mainly Muslim north Caucasus, Dagestan borders Chechnya which declared independency after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 but was attacked by Russian forces in two wars since the mid-1990s.
Still low-level insurgency continues in Muslim states including Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya controlled by Russia.
"As far as bandits are concerned ... They simply need to be eliminated," Medvedev told the head of the FSB, the successor to the KGB.
The Kremlin chief's hard-hitting words come after a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives at a traffic police depot on Wednesday in the capital of Dagestan, Makhachkala, killing seven and injuring 20.
"(Eliminating bandits) must be done in a tough manner and systematically," Medvedev added.
The beginning of 2010 has seen little let-up in violence along the patchwork of republics making up the North Caucasus.
Russia is home to some 20 million Muslims.
Human rights groups have repeatedly accused the authorities of serious abuses including house burning, extra-judicial killings, torture and illegal punishment.
Reuters Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2010, 12:38